As part of the continuing series on expanding in-house search marketing efforts beyond traditional search, this week the focus is on mobile search marketing campaigns. Read on for a guide to getting started and mobile search marketing best practices.

Mobile search share

Some marketers argue that mobile queries still represent too small an overall volume to make the effort of running campaigns worthwhile, but it is worth noting that Google’s mobile query share has grown 5x over the past two years.

While some individual verticals may still be seeing modest query volumes, mobile search is definitely growing, and at a much faster rate than traditional search. There’s no time like the present to gain a first mover advantage and start testing mobile paid search campaigns early.

Mobile sites vs. regular websites

With the rapid adoption of smart phones with full browser displays like iPhone and Android, mobile campaigns can be successful for both sites optimized for mobile viewing and many regular websites, though mobile optimized sites are likely to produce better results.

Before running mobile campaigns establish the overall mobile strategy; whether to have a dedicated mobile site and if using a mobile site, whether to redirect smartphone users automatically. If the campaign will be directing to a mobile site, implement the usual robust paid search tracking. Knowing where paid search traffic will go, and being prepared to track it, is key to developing a successful mobile campaign.

Offline considerations

If the mobile site will direct users to call to complete a conversion or visit a brick and mortar location, are there ways to track offline conversions? Dedicated phone numbers or coupon codes for paid search referrals are tracking tactics that have helped marketers measure success offline. Consider the options for offline tracking that will work for your organization; the offline channel’s share of sales may be higher on mobile than on a traditional website.

Campaign settings and tracking

While it is possible to opt existing search campaigns into mobile (and you may unknowingly already be running campaigns for mobile on Google AdWords and MSN AdCenter), there are advantages to running dedicated mobile campaigns. Depending on your vertical and its mobile query volumes, you may want to bid on more general keywords for mobile search than you would normally. Additionally, CPCs can be higher or lower in the mobile space depending on your vertical and how many advertisers are opting in to mobile, marketers will want to test and optimize to the appropriate bid level as they would any search campaign.

Establishing appropriate campaign settings is the first step in creating a dedicated mobile campaign. From Google AdWords’ Settings tab, select the “iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers” option, and do not select “Desktop and laptop computers”. There is also the option to select particular mobile devices. Depending on the mobile site, select devices that will have compatible display. Generally selecting Android, iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad will cover a large percentage of mobile queries and regular or mobile sites can display well. MSN AdCenter has similar campaign settings, though it does not allow for select device targeting.

The simplicity of using existing paid search campaigns is alluring, and if your organization is redirecting smart phone users automatically to a mobile site in a way that can preserve paid search tracking parameters, it is possible to add AdWords ValueTrack parameters to separate mobile search in tracking.

Simply add the parameter {ifmobile:NewTagName} to the Destination URL field, this functions the same as the familiar {ifcontent:NewTagName} parameter separating content placements from search. As with content/display, it is generally better to run and optimize separate campaigns from search, but as a test or short term strategy reusing search can be helpful.

In terms of ad copy, generally writing a traditional format Google AdWords ad is best for full browser smart phones, but if targeting WAP devices, then adding a WAP mobile ad is necessary. MSN AdCenter mobile ads are also WAP formatted ads. Depending on your organization you may want to test phone numbers or addresses in ad text as well as the use of a display URL pointing to a mobile optimized site (e.g., mobile.viator.com). These elements may improve click-through rates and overall campaign success.

There’s no time like the present to develop a mobile search strategy and start testing campaigns. Determining a mobile strategy, creating best practices and building campaign history sooner rather than later will give your organization a competitive edge in the rapidly growing mobile search space.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | In House Search Marketing

Sponsored


About The Author: is the Vice President, Marketing at Viator,the leading provider of destination activities worldwide, and also blogs on in-house search engine marketing issues at inhousesem.com.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Duane Forrester

    Excellent article Kelly!

    I couldn’t agree more that now is the time for businesses to wade into this new territory. As with many disiplines, there is a learning curve, so now is the time to figure out the finer points of campaigns in this space.

    By the time others arrive, you’ll have an advantage by knowing how to navigate the space and bring to bear tactics that work.

 

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide